There was a recent thread in the Evernote user forums about how people are using the Tasks features since it’s “missing” so many things, including recurring tasks. I said:

I love Evernote Tasks; for what I do, I don’t miss recurring tasks. If I get an agenda or schedule with tasks I need to complete, I create a note with the document attached and a task for each item along with the due date. I use “Flagged” as a “Today” sort of thing; an item only gets flagged during review on the day I intend to do it. A full-fledged task manager is typically overkill for me; but if I needed one and was all in on Apple I would use Things 3.

There is ONE THING that absolutely drives me bonkers, though: the date picker on mobile. It should be a calendar like on desktop NOT the scroll wheels. That would let me see the day of the week which often matters more than the date, for me. Because they already have this built into the desktop app and it’s a standard UI element on iOS, I’m hoping this will be adjusted. I’ve already submitted feedback on it.

User Boot17 agreed and added this about recurring tasks:

I know there is a beta going on right now (that I’m not part of) with recurring tasks and it will be interesting to see how recurring tasks are implemented. In the Mac Things app, it seems that they just clutter up the history of completed tasks. I’d rather not see my history of other completed tasks get cluttered up with a history of a daily or weekly recurring task. So it remains to be seen if I will even use the repeating task functionality once it’s available.

Here’s the process they use in Evernote:

  1. Append [REPEAT {frequency}] to the task title.
  2. After completing the task, instead of checking it off, move the due date out.

I also like this idea:

I will sometimes also open the note and add a comment in a table of completion that I have with some description of the activity that was completed (where the description can be different every time).

I like the flexibility this provides because it reduces cruft in the task log while maintaining history and context on the tasks where that matters.

Early last year, I upgraded to an Evernote Personal plan. I had just started a stint of self-employment and needed to get more organized. It helped, but I wasn’t in love with it the way I was around 2015. I thought that maybe I should give OneNote another try because we have an Office 365 Family subscription. That was awful and I came crawling back to Evernote.

## How I got here

My note saga, in a nutshell, is this: bounce around from app to app hoping one will finally be The One. In 2016, [I left Evernote for Apple Notes](https://scojjac.com/2016/11/06/goodbye-evernote-hello.html). At some point I left Apple Notes for Bear because of Markdown and tags.

Then my Mac logic board died, Apple called it vintage even though they still provide software updates, and I opted not to spend $600 to fix it or over a grand for a new Mac for the time being. Since my notes were Markdown-esque, I decided to try Obsidian.

There are things I like about Obsidian, in theory. It:

– uses folder structure and plain text
– is extensible
– shows the relationships between notes
– offers an easy way to publish to the web

But in practice, I didn’t like the feel. I didn’t want to create notes there. The iPhone app feels cramped. Attachments are second-class. Getting things in is very manual. So I started looking around; I tried Joplin, even “writing” apps like iA Writer. I wanted:

– cross-platform (I replaced that dead Mac with a used Lenovo T430s, and later a custom-built PC.)
– fast and easy entry
– folders and tags
– powerful search across notes, handwriting, attachments

And I returned to Evernote.

## The state of Evernote

Evernote v10 could win an award for Most Improved—the award for things that really sucked to begin with but have made great strides.

– It has much better performance (by all accounts, everywhere except Android).
– The customizable Home tab is becoming more useful.
– Tasks are a killer feature.

### Evernote Tasks

Announced mid-2021, Evernote Tasks are a new object type that live within the context of your notes. Each task can be configured with due date, reminder, flag, assignment (for Professional and Teams plans), and note where it exists. And they are surfaced into a Tasks pane with four views:

– My tasks: all tasks, sorted by due date
– Assigned: tasks you’ve assigned (Professional or Teams plan required)
– Notes: tasks sorted by note
– Due dates: sorted by overdue, today, next 7 days, future, no due date

This implementation works really well for me. I mainly want to see iOS specific features added, such as Siri support for adding a task (even if through Reminders, like Things 3) and a widget view.

_[Note regarding re-occurring tasks: I don’t typically use them—I get why they’re useful to people, but they’ve never been useful to me in practice. Nevertheless, it’s a highly requested feature and being worked on.]_

### It’s the best for me but needs work

I’m not just sticking with Evernote because I have thousands of notes in it already. In fact, at one point I deleted ALL of them from the service and I started fresh this time. I’m using it because it best fits my needs and is imperfect in ways that matter least to me.

That said, I keep a running note of [where Evernote can improve](https://www.evernote.com/shard/s283/sh/26247564-b917-4285-acd7-b4496dd8c9bc/844ab32f1d4e61606f82f90914904eb1).

## Future posts

I hope to write more in the future about how I’m using Evernote. And I’d love to hear how others are using it. You can [webmention](https://indieweb.org/Webmention) me from your own site, reply on Micro.blog, or email me.